The latter joins on a free transfer after choosing not to renew his contract with Schalke due to a falling out with the club, with accusations of bullying resulting in the 22-year-old being frozen out of the first team.
Prior to his suspension, life under Schalke head coach Domenico Tedesco started well for the German after Meyer had found himself dropping off the radar as one of Germany’s next ‘Wunderkinds’, being tipped to follow in the footsteps of both Mario Götze and Mesut Ozil.
A No. 10 in his early Schalke days under Jens Keller and André Breitenreiter specifically, Tedesco moved Meyer into a deeper role alongside Leon Goretzka in a double-pivot. In this role, the German midfielder made an average of 2.3 interceptions per 90 minutes, joint first with teammate Benjamin Stambouli and Wolfsburg’s Josuha Guilavogui.
It’s a role in which Meyer has shone but has still found himself under criticism after asking for unrealistic demands after one good season. Schalke sporting director Christian Heidel had been keen to extend the contract of Meyer, but it’s clear that the agent of the German holds Meyer in a regard than Schalke ever did.
Roger Wittman wanted Meyer on excess of €100,000 per week, which for a 22-year-old after one good season in the Bundesliga is a rather demanding figure. There is no guarantee that he would be able to replicate that same form without Goretzka and so talks broke down.
Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Marseille had all shown interest in signing Meyer on a free transfer but were also taken back by his wage demands, according to British press. Wages that are seemingly negotiated by his agent, Wittmann.
If he wanted a move to a top Premier League club, then Meyer would have to lower his demands or risk missing out and so as a result, Meyer and Wittmann were unable to negotiate a move to an elite club.
The search went on with West Ham United showing an interest, but it was Crystal Palace who showed concrete interest in the 22-year-old. A matter of hours seemed to pass from Palace’s initial contact to the announcement of a three-year deal with the London club in a move that seemed to surprise everyone.
With the departures of Yohan Cabaye and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, the Eagles were short in midfield and while it’s possible that Meyer can contribute from a wide position, it’s likely that he will slot into a central and perhaps a deeper role, like that of his one at Schalke.
Prior to playing under Tedesco, Meyer has been given freedom to roam the pitch and perhaps being given those instructions at such a young age halted his progress.
Thus, Tedesco has done well to change the mindset and evolve Meyer into a much more disciplined role while working under Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson will surely have its advantages in that sense.
If early impressions are anything to go by, Hodgson has been very impressed with the youngster, who has a wealth of experience for someone so young having played at the highest level and in the Champions League.
“When I have met him, I have been very impressed with his attitude and his maturity as well for a young person,” said Roy Hodgson. “He is 22, but he has a lot of Bundesliga games under his belt, and international matches and Champions League matches.
“So, I think we are signing a young, but experienced player and a player who will be very keen to show he is a good player in a league other than the Bundesliga.”
It’s a move that should certainly excite Crystal Palace fans. Granted, he’s dropped off the radar but coming to the Premier League on the back off an impressive season is no less than he deserves. It’s not the move many had expected the German to make but perhaps it’s that next step in his career.
A relatively risk-free signing in comparison to other targets, the arrival of Meyer could be the key in taking Palace to the next step.
The pressure will be off Meyer at Crystal Palace in comparison to a club like Arsenal or Liverpool and with time on his side, the 22-year-old has found the perfect club to showcase the ability that he has.